Confederate Account of the Battle of Mt. Zion Church
Excerpt from History of Boone County




Neither Col. Dorsey nor any other confederate officer published an of- ficial account of the Mount Zion fight, otherwise it would be given here. But an intelligent gentleman, who was one of his command, and who was present during the engagement, informs us that on December 24, 1861, Col. Dorsey left Pike County, and on the 27th, at Grandview, in Boone County, which is near and west of the church, organized his forces, consisting of six companies, of about 350 men, not all armed. The officers in command were Col. Caleb Dorsey, Lieut. Col. Cole Kent, Maj. Thomas Breckinridge and E. W. Herndon, (now a citizen of Columbia), Surgeon. About 2 o'clock, P. M., of the 27th, this force took up the line of march, intending to camp at Mount Zion church. About a half a mile northeast of the church, the Federals came up and fired on their rear guard, wounding two of Dorsey's men, and then fell back. Dorsey pursued them, and three miles from the church overtook the retreat- ing force, and fired upon them. A ten minutes' skirmish ensued, in which one Federal was mortally wounded, and Capt. Howland (Fed- eral), was wounded in the thigh, and taken prisoner. Dorsey's sur- geon, Dr. Herndon, extracted the ball. None of Dorsey's men were killed or wounded. On the morning of the 28th, 'the engagement was renewed, the force under Dorsey being about 100 yards east of the church, in the brush and timber. The Federal charge upon them was with both infantry and cavalry, but was repulsed. They again charged, and were again repulsed, after which they made a third charge. The ammunition of Dorsey's command being exhausted, he determined to fall back to his wagons. The Federals advanced upon him, and took some ten pris- oners. They then marched on to the church, and seeing soldiers in the building, fired on it, whereupon two of the prisoners who were in the church, ran out and said: " There are no fighting men here; this is a hospital;" hearing which the Federal fire ceased




Gen. Prentiss then gathered up his dead and wounded, pressed teams and wagons, and returned to Sturgeon, leaving the Confederate wounded on the field, whom Dr. Herndon distributed among the farm houses in the neighborhood. Dorsey's loss: 5 killed; 35 wounded, and 10 prisoners. Prentiss' loss (estimated): 30 killed; 60 wounded, and 10 prisoners. The gentleman who makes this report to us, also desires it to be stated that Gen. Prentiss in every respect acted the gentleman and the soldier, in regard to the Confederate wounded, affording all the assistance in his power, and detailing a guard from his own command to keep soldiers out of the church. We learn from a different source that among Dorsey's wounded were Clifton Quisenberry, of Boone, Capt. Myers, of Lincoln, a young man by the name of Thurman, and a Mr. Swaydor, all of whom, except Capt. Myers, died - Swaydor at John Reed's, who lives near the church. One of the wounded also died at James Ful- kerson's. From another source, altogether authentic, it is learned that in the skirmish on the evening before the main fight at Mt. Zion, the fol- lowing men of Co. A, 3d Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers, were taken prisoners by the Confederates, viz. Capt. Jas. T. Howland; pri- vates Geo. Hipkins, Thos. J. Maggard, John W. Peak, A. J. Johnson, Wm. B. Hatten, W. J. Morton, A. J. Goodrich and Chas. Carna- han. Capt. Howland was badly wounded in the leg; Carnahan as struck on the occipital bone; Goodrich was the soldier mortally wounded, who died the same night. A few days after the fight an arrangement was effected between Gen. Prentiss and Col. Dorsey, commanding the Federal and Confed- erate forces respectively, for an exchange of prisoners. Capt. Hen- derson represented the Confederates and Col. Glover the Federals, and the exchange was made at Sturgeon. The following are the names of the Federals exchanged:

Capt. J. T. Howland, Co. A, 3d Mo. Cavalry.

Wm. Morton, Co. A, 3d Mo. Cavalry.

Wm. Hatten, " "" " "

Sergeant J. C. Miller, Co. C, 3d Mo. Cavalry.

" W. S. Grover, " " " "

Bugler Thos. Orton, " " " " " "

Corporal Rhino, " "

Private Frank Murray," " " " "

Sergeant Isaiah Null, Flagg's Regiment.

Private Walter Scott 81st Ohio Infantry.




After leaving Mt. Zion Church Col. Dorsey made his way west- ward into Perche township, and went into camp near Everett. Here he remained a day or two, when, pursuant to orders from Gen. Price, he ordered his command to "scatter," until such time as a concen- tration would be proper land could be effected. In February fol- lowing the major portion of the command crossed the Missouri and made its way to Price's army


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